If you are serious about finding ways to grow your business in 2018, there are some bold actions and investments that you can take now to help accomplish this goal.
Here's where you can start:
1. Narrow your focus.
At the end of the year, business owners typically make definite decisions on what their company will focus on and what it will leave behind in 2018.
Most companies can only prioritize a small number of initiatives in any one year. Having too many directives may confuse the team and doesn't always allow for the appropriate energy to rally around each opportunity. Learning to say “no" to attractive opportunities in the next 12 months can be as important as the ones that you say “yes" to.
How you can get started: Consider making a list of five areas that your company could focus on in 2018 that will drive growth. Then cross three off the list.
With the remaining two, label one as primary and the other as secondary. Decide the financial support and other milestones that need to be achieved to focus on these two areas next year.
2. Hire more experienced managers.
In order to grow your business, you may need to bring on managers with a significant track record in having built up a company like yours before.
You may have got where you are now by utilizing talent that has relied on you in the past, but rapid growth can often demand that you invest in experienced managers who can take the company to the next level. While this can be expensive, having the right people can be important for this next stage of success.
How you can get started: Choose the area where an experienced manager would be important for the priorities in your business. Research people in that position that work for your competitors and consider recruiting them.
3. Create processes in each department.
When you're trying to grow your business, procedures can no longer be ad-hoc. It can hurt your business to have your staff improvising all the time.
You may want to have each department head train their team in the best processes that everyone can follow to be the most effective. This means taking the time to detail them and train the entire team.
How you can get started: Think about having each department spend two to three hours documenting their optimal process for presentation to the management team. Discuss how these processes can also be optimized between departments.
4. Increase effective marketing expenditures.
A full sales pipeline is one of the best methods to grow your business. This typically happens by increasing your investment in marketing to help the company turn their leads into prospects.
Think about having a systematic process for marketing. This way, marketing can happen all the time regardless of other customer implementation commitments your company currently has.
How you can get started: Identify the pain point your company solves and who has the money to solve it. Then pick five topics that your company can be an expert on in a marketing campaign that doesn't directly sell your product. Choose up to three channels (such as email, social media, industry websites and forums) where you can discuss this message weekly.
5. Upgrade your infrastructure.
When your goal is to grow your business, don't underestimate the power of technology. Tech can be utilized to guide every process in your business. This may mean investing in upgrading your company's infrastructure and security.
How you can get started: Research what technology the companies that are twice as large as yours are using in your industry and related areas. Choose one that can grow as your company does at a price that gives you a relatively immediate return.
The key is to design a test of each initiative before fully implementing it. By reviewing the results, you may have a higher chance of long-term success.
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